For nearly six years, the Arrowverse has explored the DC Universe on the small screen. In doing so, characters both popular and relatively unknown have been brought to life in live-action, many for the first time. This has opened the floodgates to numerous stories, some familiar and others that are in stark contrast to what comic readers and purveyors of other DC-centric media have come to expect. As such, audiences are presented with something fresh and unique, yet also reminiscent of tried and true DC continuity. However, in establishing the Arrowverse’s framework, some aspects of the growing television franchise have debuted only to soon thereafter be cast aside.
Plots have been dropped, characters have disappeared without explanation, and there are several long forgotten character traits. Logistics is known to get in the Arrowverse’s way, especially with regards to certain storylines or character usage. Therefore, a few of the excised attributes are given the boot for purposes of actor availability or the like. Still, though, there are story or character-driven aspects whose erasure or lack of development warrants examination and extensive questioning. The following list notes 15 of such details in the Arrowverse, analyzing things that have been unceremoniously abandoned or neglected.
15. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO MAXWELL LORD?
Without question, Maxwell Lord’s sudden absence from the Arrowverse is attributed to Supergirl’s move from Los Angeles to Vancouver upon the show’s switching networks. Lord’s actor, Peter Facinelli was likely unavailable for the transition. Thus, Supergirl’s out of potentially intriguing story arcs and National City is missing a certain morally ambiguous tech developer. But the CBS to The CW move doesn’t have to mean Maxwell Lord gets excised entirely. There exists lingering questions concerning his whereabouts, especially now that Morgan Edge has debuted.
Could an explanation for his absence not have been given, even in throwaway exposition from another character like Lena Luthor? Such a reveal, despite its minimal pertinence in the grand scheme of things, would work to deepen the lore of Supergirl’s corner of the Arrowverse. Other doors may have opened story-wise, too, akin to the continued development of CatCo in the wake of Cat Grant’s departure.
14. HOW DOES OLIVER KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT KRYPTONITE?
The Arrowverse’s most recent four-way crossover, “Crisis on Earth-X,” offers Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow yet another attribute similar to Batman. Following the reveal of Overgirl and Dark Arrow as Earth-X doppelgängers of Supergirl and Green Arrow, Earth-1’s Oliver attempts to neutralize Overgirl with a Kryptonite arrow. When Supergirl questions the vigilante, he merely says he made the arrow in case she becomes evil. Sound reasoning, sure.
However, there’s no intimation as to how Oliver knows about Kryptonite. In fact, the audience is never made privy to his knowing Supergirl’s Kryptonian. These details aren’t discussed in 2016’s “Invasion!” crossover. In addition, aside from a fleeting remark from Harry, there’s little evidence to suggest Supergirl as we know her even exists on Earth-1. As the action unfolds on-screen, this seems an inadvertently looked over detail. Nevertheless, a myriad of questions are raised.
13. DID RAGMAN VANISH OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?
Rory Regan/Ragman’s stint as a vigilante in the Arrowverse is remarkably short-lived. The character debuts early in Arrow’s fifth season, but departs during the mid-season finale. Rory leaves Team Arrow to find a way of fixing his suit’s rags, after using their powers to absorb an explosion. It’s sound reasoning and certainly incites interest with regards to his and the rags’ abilities. However, the issue is in the rest of the team seemingly forgetting about Rory.
It’s as though Ragman never existed, as if he hasn’t saved lives and contributed to some of Team Arrow’s success. This lack of concern for Rory is most notable in none of the other characters mentioning or asking about him. At the very least, Felicity seems like one to attempt staying in touch, considering her part in the destruction of Ragman’s home, Havenrock.
12. WHY DOESN’T SARA KNOW ABOUT BLACK SIREN?
Sara’s return home in season two hits Laurel hard, while she battles alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. Eventually, Laurel begins recovering, and in the process develops a stronger relationship with her sibling. This expands into season three, increasing tenfold after Sara’s murder with Laurel wanting to avenge her sister and adopt the mantle of the Canary. Sara’s resurrection and departure aboard the Waverider in season four further cements their unshakable bond.
It’s a wonder, then, that Sara is still out of the loop with regards to the existence of Earth-2 Laurel/Black Siren. Sara has no qualms admitting she wants to alter the timestream and revive Laurel. Why is there seemingly no effort being made to introduce her to Black Siren? This is especially puzzling when considering Quentin Lance’s attempts to redeem Earth-2 Laurel, something Sara would undoubtedly excel in assisting with.
11. WHAT HAPPENED TO LAUREL’S FRIEND, JOANNA?
Joanna de la Vega has only appeared in a handful of Arrow episodes and hasn’t received mention in years. Initially Laurel’s best friend and co-worker at CNRI, Joanna has ties to one of the Arrowverse’s earlier villain-of-the-week foes, Firefly. Her brother, a firefighter, is killed by the villain and Joanna takes time off once the case is resolved. Afterwards, she’s only heard from during season two, while trying to help Laurel get another job as an attorney. From then on, the character has gone without reference.
Is Joanna de la Vega beneficial to Arrow’s overarching narrative in any sense? Of course not. However, like others, a nod or two acknowledging her vanishing act would have at least provided the character’s place on the show closure.
10. WHAT HAPPENED TO SARA’S SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE?
In Arrow’s second season, Sara Lance is established as someone who knows her way around both technology and science. She garners this know-how thanks to the time she spends working alongside Anthony Ivo on his ship, the Amazo. During season two’s present-day storyline, Sara is seen analyzing blood samples, helping and offering help to Felicity with some of the team’s technological aspects and more. These character traits are abandoned once she departs at the end of season two’s present-day storylines, prior to her return for the final fight against Slade.
Post-resurrection Sara has shown no signs of past scientific knowledge, despite being comparably proficient in everything else. Yes, she’s especially effective as captain of the Waverider and one of the Arrowverse’s best combatants. There’s always room for another intellectual, though. It’s a shame this particular character trait gets cast aside so quickly.
9. DID BARRY REALLY INVENT GIDEON?
Towards the end of The Flash’s first season, as a nascent Team Flash attempts to out-maneuver Reverse-Flash, Barry and Gideon have an interesting first meeting. After obtaining information from Harrison Wells’ Time Vault, which houses Gideon, Barry asks the AI to keep their inquiries secret. She tells him she’ll follow any of his instructions, because future Barry is responsible for her creation. Seemingly, this fascinating detail has been forgotten as no one, not even Gideon herself, has referenced it since.
The absence of additional mentions is also disappointing when considering The Flash rarely offers Barry’s intelligence a chance to shine. How will he develop the technology behind Gideon and for what purpose? At this juncture, Gideon’s creation seems more befitting Cisco’s character and less so the Scarlet Speedster.
8. WHY IS NATE HEYWOOD NO LONGER A BRILLIANT HISTORIAN?
Legends of Tomorrow’s sophomore season opens unpredictably. Nate Heywood rushes past the Mayoral Office’s security in Star City to gain access to Oliver Queen. He intends to convince Oliver, who he knows is the Green Arrow, to help retrieve the Legends from their scrambling across time. The audience doesn’t see how Nate discovers the truth about Ollie or the Legends, but his short explanation is nothing if not convincing. Why then has the character of late been relegated to a dude-bro status?
After transitioning from historian to superhero, the historian aspect of Nate’s character gets dropped. The only time it’s not abandoned is when most convenient for a specific plot point. When the Legends travel to the distant past, shouldn’t Nate lead mission debriefings, or at the very least be consulted first? Sadly, he’s mostly utilized for quick laughs and saving graces involving his powers.
7. WHERE’S SIN?
Introduced as an ally of Sara/Canary and an eventual friend for Roy and Thea, Sin debuts in Arrow season two, but is out by the first half of the show’s third run. The actress, Bex Taylor-Klaus, went on to star in MTV’s Scream, but it’s not her absence that puzzles. After tipping off Quentin Lance to Sara’s disappearance, Sin performs a vanishing act of her own.
She presumably never learns what happens to Sara, a woman she considers a big sister, and Sara doesn’t mention her after returning from the dead. Needless to say, it’s an odd situation all around. Of course, with her main connections to the narrative (Sara and Roy) gone, Sin serves little purpose on the show. But her sudden departure still warrants an explanation, or at the very least a showing of concern from Sara, Roy and Thea.
6. IS IRIS WEST STILL A JOURNALIST?
When Iris West first debuts, she’s working towards her degree. Within episodes, any signs of her being in college are neglected and she focuses her energy on managing a blog. Eventually, her posts about Central City’s hero net her a job at the local paper. Under the paper’s employ, Iris is encouraged to pursue her ties to the Speedster further. Beyond season two, though, journalism is no longer even tangentially explored.
Briefly, the consensus was that there’s difficulty in weaving a journalism narrative into a show of this nature. Then Supergirl began doing it fairly well. Additionally, Iris’ current employment status remains nebulous. She’s no longer a reporter, and works full-time at S.T.A.R Labs, helping Team Flash. How does she make money? Is everyone on the show, barring Joe and Cecile, living off of whatever Barry provides through his inheritance from Wells/Thawne?
5. WHAT HAPPENED TO WALLY WEST’S MECHANICAL EXPERTISE?
Kid Flash’s minimal usage on The Flash can be endlessly discussed. One aspect of the character that’s infrequently explored is Wally West’s love for mechanics. Upon Wally’s season two debut, Joe learns the son he never knew about has quite a knack for engineering. This could’ve boded well for his addition to Team Flash. They’re never short of needing a quick fix for tech or machine-based issues. The team doesn’t put Wally to use in such a manner, even while he’s in school… which also fails to receive worthwhile exploration.
With the character’s impending arrival on Legends of Tomorrow, the hope is his skills will finally be of benefit. Due to Jax’s departure, the Waverider is short a mechanic, after all. And perhaps Wally’s mechanical expertise will finally aid him in his role as a Speedster.
4. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS LUCY LANE?
Unsurprisingly, Supergirl’s move from CBS to The CW affected quite a few cast members’ ability to continue with the series. Jenna Dewan Tatum is one example, as Lucy Lane has yet to reappear since the show’s first season. During SDCC 2017, the Supergirl cast joked about Lucy’s still working at the DEO bunker in the desert. Admittedly, this explanation could not be anymore fitting. Why a similar note concerning her absence hasn’t been referenced on the show itself is a mystery.
Despite Supergirl season one’s continuity being folded into the Arrowverse, Lucy and select other happenings go notably unmentioned. A reasoning is never specified, and may be as ambiguous as whatever rules allow Superman and Flash to feature on TV and in film, but not Deathstroke. Regardless of the rationale, and though it’s not necessary, a brief update on Lucy Lane’s status in National City would be welcomed.
3. WHY HASN’T THE CLOCKTOWER BEEN REBUILT?
Sara Lance returns to Starling City in Arrow season two, selecting a DC landmark as her hideout. While the Clocktower is synonymous with the Birds of Prey, Arrow gifts it to just one of the group’s would-be members. Before moving in with Oliver, Sara apparently lives in the Clocktower, taking advantage of the view for tactical purposes. Later, Team Arrow briefly operates from within it. A few beautifully shot fight scenes occur there, as well.
By season’s end, the Clocktower is destroyed in the fight against Deathstroke. The building is seemingly never rebuilt, which is unfortunate as it could’ve been repurposed. In Arrow’s sixth season, the tentatively deemed New Team Arrow/Outsiders could definitely put such a structure to use. But maybe the Clocktower’s down for good, or perhaps a return is being saved for something a little more special down the line.
2. WHAT HAPPENED TO BIZARRO?
Not seen beyond the “Bizarro” episode of Supergirl, Jane Doe, aka Bizarro, hasn’t been spoken of since the late half of season one. At her core, Bizarro is a Maxwell Lord experiment gone terribly wrong. Yet, Supergirl empathizes with the bewildered villain, appealing to the semblance of humanity that resides within her. To neutralize Bizarro, though, Supergirl and the DEO put her in a comatose state. With the Girl of Steel promising to protect her, Bizarro seems somewhat content prior to going under.
Presumably, she’s remained in a coma all this time. Whether the DEO ever plans to work on healing Bizarro, or allowing Supergirl to reform her remains to be seen. Unfortunately, neither appears to be the case, evidenced by her continued absence. She’s but one of the interesting villain-of-the-week types from Supergirl’s first run that has yet to resurface.
1. WHY DO SUPERGIRL AND FLASH NEVER FULLY USE THEIR POWERS?
Since season one of both The Flash and Supergirl, the Speedster and Girl of Steel have experienced success in combat situations by managing powerful new feats. The Flash throws lightning and makes copies of himself. Meanwhile, Supergirl often experiments with her own super-speed and other creative uses of her powers. On screen, these abilities never fail to capture the audience’s eye; interestingly, they’re rarely utilized.
Supergirl’s first match against Red Tornado sees her burrow herself underground, maneuvering to gain a tactical advantage. During “Crisis on Earth-X,” she repels Overgirl with a powerful thunderclap. Similarly, The Flash has constructed speed mirages and recently slowed time for him and Iris to converse extensively, only wasting mere seconds. When will these abilities ever see the light of day, again? It could be a matter of special effects costs, but the sheer amount of such examples leaves plenty to be desired.
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